Statue of Queen Meritamen

Statue of Queen Meritamen

Meritamun was both the daughter, and sometimes after the death of Nefertari, her mother, became the Great Royal Wife of her father, Ramesses II. The painted decorations of this statue fragment is still well preserved. Her smile, in particular, is similar to that on a number of statues of Ramesses II. On top of her head, she wears a circular diadem, its base adorned all the way around with a frieze of uraei with solar disks.

Statue of Queen Meritamen

Despite the fact that only the titles of the queen are visible, it is known that this is a statue of Meritamen, a daughter and consort of Ramesses II (r. ca. 1279-1213 BC), due to an almost identical piece being found in Akhmim. It is remarkable due to its beautiful color, and the detail of the tripartite wig.

Meritamen wears two uraei on her forehead, while a diadem of cobras, each with a sun-disc, surmounts her wig. She also wears a large pectoral around her neck, and a tight fitting dress. She holds a menat necklace with the counterweight in the shape of the goddess Hathor , which also allows her to be identified as a priestess ; her nipples visible through the tight transparent linen dress appear as small rosettes. Among the titles preserved in the rear inscription, it appears: Dresser of the sistrum of Mut and the menat of Hathor , dancer of Hathor.

The fine statue still preserves parts of the original polychrome, red on the lips, dark blue on the wig, yellow on its bands, headdress and jewels reminiscent of the gold that formed those pieces in reality. The polished surface evokes smooth white skin. It was discovered in Thebes , in what she called the “Chapel of the White Queen” of the Ramesseum by the British archaeologist Flinders Petrie in 1896. Now in the Hurghada Museum. JE 31413

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